- French GR-20 routes. Google maps are laughably empty, while OSM has you covered with almost the same information as the hiking maps you can buy on the trail.
- Anapurna - similar to GR-20 situation. This route gets changed often due to landslides, but there is always some person doing a great job updating information not too late after.
- Volcanoes - OSM maps often contain camping grounds, water sources, etc. This is something I actively contribute too. The level of detail is amazing. Some guides in fact lose potential clients because of this.
OSM is a wonderful feat by all its contributors, and isn't appreciated as much as it deserves.
- detailed maps from 1:10,000 to 1:1,000,000
- hiking routes which are actively maintained. You can create your own hiking routes, and it will estimate the time that it will take to complete them.
- historical data, like historical maps since 1864 and aerial photos
- aeronautical maps, naval charts, geological maps, ...
- basically any kind of data that you can find on maps, such as land registery, water planning, spatial planning, etc.
I am not sure if other countries provide this level of service free of charge. I would be curious to see what other countries offer on this topic.
That's the easy-to-use-maps.
There's also the aus-wide https://nationalmap.gov.au where you get basic satellite maps with the option to add various datasets and even daily maps from Landsat 2A
There's also ELVIS foundation spatial data https://elevation.fsdf.org.au
There's don't really cover hiking trails that much, etc. There's more general purpose mapping applications.
It's also possible to find various topographic maps in static form somewhere on the government sites.
Councils are the ones that provide the hiking trails, etc. so it depends on the locality. The Northern Beaches council for example provides an interactive trails map, but most have static maps.
Btw: the URL for Six maps is: https://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/
Not sure if it was changed but it took me a few tries to find the right permutation
How do you view daily maps from Landsat 2A? I couldn't find it in the options on nationalmap.gov.au
Planning maps are usually unfortunately only held by the responsible subjects (towns and larger administrative blocks), so there's no one map or one format. Most of these maps are at least published in some viewable capacity, though, from what I can tell.
The debate is what 'free' means :)
I think some of the questions about what 'free' of charge mean are answered below in the frequently asked questions section.
I also use Gaia GPS as a planning tool. Fiddle with routes on the laptop, then load the relevant map squares on the phone for offline use. It has the NatGeo maps, plus several other sources, available for overlay. With this, my NatGeo paper maps largely become backups.
I guess the paper will be out of date, I'm not sure what the new electronic ones do for local and regional trails (I think they would print okay, they just aren't distributed directly on paper).
I remember a hike we did on holiday in the Drôme department of France when I was a little kid, long before OSM or Google Maps or even Microsoft's Terraserver. Must have been somewhere in the mid to late 80's, I think. We did have a paper map though, and I think it was an official topographic map. We started in one valley and the plan was to hike up the ridge and then down to the neighboring valley, where we knew the Tour De France was going to pass that day. Watching the Tour was not really the main objective, otherwise we would have driven to a more suitable spot by car, but it was an incentive to keep us kids going. In hindsight we could never have made it on time.
The map clearly showed paths on both sides of the ridge, and sure enough, walking up the ridge went smoothly (if tiring) along that path. But when we arrived at the top, there was no path down the other side to be seen. There simply wasn't one, and the terrain was not exactly suitable for walking down without a path. The world simply didn't conform to the map. So we stayed there for a while and saw the Tour pass far below us, much too far to recognize anything except the helicopters but even those looked more like flies than helicopters from our high point of view.
That wasn't the only time we saw significant differences between French maps and France itself, but it was by far the most memorable one.
OpenStreetMap with the traditional topographic view. But I was not able to find where you wanted to hike to see the Tour de France.
Sure enough, that passes through the Drôme departement where we were on holiday. I don't have the exact route for that stage, but it's described as a hilly stage so I assume it passed through the Vercors Massif on its way to Grenoble. That's most likely where we were that day, but where exactly I can't tell. I could ask my father but I don't think he'll remember either. It's quite a long time ago, after all.
Then you cant close it or obstruct it even if you are the land owner
For those in a similar situation, I use this
Personally I follow
- global Discord channel (and local one) https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Discord
- global and local Telegram - https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/List_of_OSM_centric_Tele...
- forum of a local community
- https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tagging_mailing_list (if you enjoy participating in design of tagging schemes)
Like, if there is a small open spot or some minor structure in the middle of the woods, I will add it. If someone is walking and not sure if they are still on the right track, they can look around, see the open spot, see the open spot on OSM, and know that they are indeed at that place.
That won't get them into the OpenStreetMap database, but it makes them available (if you set them to public) for anyone looking to add the trails.
There's also apps like StreetComplete. It has 'challenges', where it prompts you for answers to questions and updates OpenStreetMap accordingly (so what is the surface type of a road, things like that).
Vespucci is a full featured editor for Android.
On the left side you have a list of apps/devices with guides and summaries
It asks the difficulty level, time you'd like to spend, and whether you want to map at home or on the terrain.
Do you have a list of such tools? Do you have a source for attributing this to malice rather than ignorance?
Now, my personal opinion on mobile editing: Vespucci is a bit complex, but basically allows you to do anything on the go. I ususally save GPX tracks using OSMAnd, but it can be heavy on the battery.
I have GPS traces for a number of Amtrak routes across America. I wonder if those would be useful.
The heat map was changed to hide military bases, etc, but it broke slide and no one cared enough to fix it.
This. 'death by GPS' is a thing unfortunately, and those are usually maps you actually pay for which makes it worse, in some way.
It's a good way to tell if a mapping service is using their own data or just ripping off OSM though.
Also, until quite recently (and maybe even still today) Google Map was terrible at bike routes in and around Amsterdam, whereas OSM was excellent at it. I remember how Google ignored major bike routes and tried to send you over highways or footpaths instead. Nowadays they just send you along bike paths next to major car thoroughfares, instead of sending you along the major bike thoroughfare that's discouraged for cars, running parallel to it.
Somewhat similar to the situation with IT, where sufficiently documented software or hardware cuts into consultancy fees.
It is cool that OSM has the data, but I hope anyone attempting the summit is getting information more directly from other climbers.